What's this? A quarterback controversy in Buffalo?
Now there's something new. I take everything I read on PFT's Rumor Mill with a Nate Newton-sized pinch of salt. But it's Buffalo. It's crazy. Forget wings. It's beef-on-weck, Bowling for Dollars, Irv Weinstein tossing to the Late Show nuts. (Memo to Bills, from a Browns fan who knows: don't go to Kelly Holcomb until you have to).
Any such shifting sure would liven up matters in Orchard Park, however -- and around the league, one would hope. This hasn't been any kind of bowl-you-over start to this NFL season. Peyton Manning and the Indy offence is in drydock. The Patriots had Carolina right where they wanted last week, and then wilted. The prime-time games have been damp fizzles -- if you managed to stay up for the end of last Monday's Redskins-Cowboys thriller, congrats on hanging around for that last three minutes' worth of action, and by the way, how much did you have riding on it?
We'll be watching again this weekend, 'cause that's what we do. But we'll also be watching somewhere else. The best football game on the planet this weekend figures to be played in Edmonton tomorrow night. The unbeaten Lions against the second-place Eskimos, in front of a full Commonwealth Stadium house, with autumn in the air. This should have it all, including a fair amount of mud on the unis, something those Colts never seem to pick up, at least while playing in their antiseptic dome.
In keeping with giving you something for your clicks, here's five Pro-Line plays to ponder for this weekend. I know you didn't ask for them, but it's Friday, which means the Linebacker, and Chris Schultz, and a lot of other guys a lot smarter than me are doing it -- so why not here? Why not now?
On with the suggestions, with the usual caveats (entertainment purposes only, not to be used as the basis for any yadda etc.):
Winnipeg V win at Montreal (4.5): That Don Matthews. This week he's going to decline the touchdown and go for an egg-white omelette instead.
Cleveland V win+ at Indy (7.5): It's a reach, sure, but nobody noticed this preseason pearl from that gridiron sage Romeo Crennel either: "If you hold the other guy to zero at halftime, you've got a real good chance of being at least even."
San Diego H win vs. Giants (1.7): The Giants don't do road games.
Tampa Bay V win at Green Bay (1.7): Brett Favre, still threatening retirement.
And in other news:
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen says he'll retire if his team wins the World Series. "It's like starting a sentence, 'if Paris Hilton becomes a nun,'" writes Rick Morrissey.
Meanwhile, some football of a different kind, and a question: Has anyone in sports had a debut worse than this one? Any candidates spring to mind?